Wednesday, August 1, 2018

Emilia-Romagna Journal: Castello di Tabiano

prosciutto at Gallo d"Oro (photograph by Hallie Cohen)
Emilia-Romagna has the best prosciutto in the world and one of the best restaurants of the region is Angiol d' Or in Parma. Try the zucchini flowers, the incomparable spaghetti carbonara served with a yolk of an egg that’s still intact when it's brought to your plate and then finish up with a crispy leg of pork. After that you might want to wander across the square of the Duomo with its pillared Moorish architecture to the famed Teatro Farnese, if only to take a peek inside its wooded interior. Journeying into the countryside, perhaps making your way toward the Po Valley and Mantua you might stop at Castello di Tabiano, a dazzling romantic resort on a mountain top which overlooks Parma and Fidenza and has a storied history of its own. Originally built as a fortress by the Pallavicinos in the 12thcentury, it was turned into a castle in 1877 by the Corazza family. The story gets more complicated from a culinary point of view since one of the Corazzas married the daughter of Carlo Gatti, aka the "Ice King." Ice and ice cream require salt and the nearby Salsomaggiore was famous for its salt baths (the word salary incidentally comes from salt, if that's any help). Parmesan cheese and wine became two of the major products made at the Tabiano castle and the smell of the cheese still permeates the basement area even though a new generation of Corazzas has devoted their energies to tourism. 

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